October is Global Diversity Awareness Month—an opportunity to pay tribute to the diverse cultures, beliefs, and practices that create our multicultural society. It’s important work since embracing the values of various cultures strengthens our understanding and appreciation of the world. Navan encourages all its team members to open their minds to new views and ideas and value cultural differences as true citizens of the world.
And the entire team does live these values every day through our DEI program, led by Gabrielle Quezada. In January 2022, Navan introduced the Belong: DEI Council, which collectively helps further the company’s DEI strategy, fosters intersectionality and collaboration across employee resource groups, and supports company-wide efforts to build awareness and increase visibility. Throughout the year, we’ve profiled each ERG and the many team members that call these groups “home.”
Here are some of the highlights of our ERG efforts and what team members have to say about them:
“What I’ve enjoyed the most about being a part of Twende is the collaboration. It allows me to meet and speak with other people in the company with whom I may have never crossed paths. The DEI program at Navan has been instrumental in supporting Twende.” Alexis Goodman, Travel Experience Coordinator
“Everyone deserves a safe space to be vulnerable, especially with the speed and demand of our amazing business. Having a safe space to connect, mentor, and learn from one another is immeasurable in the greater impact it brings to folks’ lives, happiness, career, and the company.” Anna Romeka, ERG co-lead and Enterprise Account Manager
“Everyone has been kind enough to open their arms and is very accepting. The group has brought all these people together with good intentions.” Juliana Lam, ERG co-lead and Commercial Expansion Account Executive
“I created the channel because I've found navigating the transition to becoming a working mom challenging, and I wanted to see if there were other moms within Navan feeling the same way. I thought creating a safe space for us to talk about the highs and lows of juggling motherhood and a career would be a great way to build a community.” Tricia Bryant, People Success Director
“We want all Navan employees to know that you can bring your whole, authentic self to work. The Outbound ERG encourages everyone to come together in creating a strong culture of inclusiveness—and just to be yourself.” Jerry Yanez, Senior Travel Operations Analyst
“We’re here to support employees as they pursue happy, healthy lifestyles and a work environment where they can be their most authentic selves.” Sandrea Marsh-Rios, ERG co-lead and Senior Travel Agent
“We are innovators and problem-solvers by nature. We should be tackling some of the biggest problems that the world has today—not shy away from complex and challenging social problems any more than we would a technological challenge." Sachin Radhakrishnan, Mid-Market Sales Development Representative
“It shows how Navan intentionally cultivates a culture of inclusion for its employees. All Bay Area companies offer snacks, perks, lunch, and equity, and then they chalk it up to culture. To me, having something like this is crucial to culture. It's a small thing, but it goes a long way. It's real. It's intentional. It's not LaCroix in the fridge.” Austin Aboav, Navan Expense Senior Product Marketing Manager
“The DEI program at Navan proves that everyone can be a part of the big picture and that the company truly values them for who they are instead of trying to change them or get them to adapt to a different culture. It helps every team member make full use of their potential as they feel supported to be themselves. We can only expect great achievements and strong growth from this environment.” Leo Alves, APAC Regional co-lead and Team Lead in Sydney
“It’s important that women have a safe space to discuss, collaborate, and support one another to know they are not alone. There’s nothing quite like having a moment where someone raises a topic or calls something out—an action, a behavior, an experience—and it resonates. You have that ‘ah-ha’ moment where you realize that you’re not the only one who feels a certain way or has to deal with something.” Jess Arn, Travel Experience Operations Manager
When our world continues to remain divisive, it’s important that we carve out these spaces for our employees to come together and connect on a human level. The umbrella Belong ERG works on accelerating the growth of Navan's culture into a paragon for diverse and inclusive workforces. Together, we will continue to build and nurture a culture where inclusiveness is an instinct, not an initiative.